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Attorney General reaches out to Muslim Americans

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr.Department of JusticeFBIIslamLos AngelesMuslim Americans

Muslim Americans, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr., Islam, FBI, Department of Justice, Los Angeles On a recent trip west, Attn. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. visited more than 200 young Muslim Americans at a Los Angeles mosque to discuss everything from their concerns about the Patriot Act to their distrust of the FBI.

The closed meeting was part of the attorney general's jam-packed trip to Los Angeles, where he also met with local leaders in South Los Angeles to talk about gang prevention and intervention. At his mosque "summit," Holder addressed immigration, racial profiling and demands to hold the Bush administration accountable for alleged abuses in its so-called war on terror, as well as employment opportunities with the Department of Justice.

The crowd of 18-30 year-olds, ethnically mixed and made up of Sunni and Shia Muslims, generally responded positively to the fact that he made the effort to seek them out, although several remained skeptical about his answers or the prospects for real change in law enforcement's attitudes towards Muslims.

"I think overall the event was a positive step on behalf of the Department of Justice," said Zainah Alfi, 23, who attended the meeting. "But some of those in attendance were upset at the lack of media presence there, and wondered if it was because he felt he could not answer questions if the media was there. He was funny, personable and warm, but when the real issues came up, his answers were politically correct."  For example, Alfi said he denied knowing anything about the claim that a FBI informant was stationed in an Orange County mosque


Yasmin Elhady, a UCLA law student who also attended the meeting, said Holder wouldn't talk about specific cases of abuses and racial profiling, or ongoing cases involving the closure of Muslim charities, nor did he offer any apologies for policies of the previous administration. His answers were very broad and he encouraged the youths to work for the government as a way to mitigate racial profiling. He promised to put more money and effort into boosting the DOJ’s civil rights division, and he committed his department to fostering trust with Muslim Americans.

There seemed to be general agreement that the meeting was a step in the right direction, according to. Dafer Dakhil, director of the Omar Ibn Al Khattab Foundation and mosque where the discussion was held.

"He was gracious and when he had an opinion about something, he shared it, even if it disagreed with the premise of the question," Dakhil said. "He tried to give us an answer, to the best of his abilities." The question, Dakhil added, is what, if anything, follows from this visit."

The next stage should be taking these concerns back to Washington and devoting his efforts toward addressing these issues beyond the surface level and leading a deeper, richer discussion into Muslim-American issues. 

--Catherine Lyons

Photo: Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. in Los Angeles. Credit: AP Photo / Damian Dovarganes

 

Comments () | Archives (10)

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d.sommer

This is outrageous. Shame on the Los Angeles Times as always, and shame on Eric Holder for giving comfort and aiding and abetting the enemies within. This politically correct nonsense is beyond absurd. It's insanity. Americans don't want the "oppressed" Muslims in Washington. We don't want Muslims living here who believe we've abused them. And we don't want
Muslims or any other anti-American group persuading
the stupid to further their agenda by even suggesting
that Bush or America be held accountable to them. They
should try this nonsense in another country and see what happens to them. Americans are fed up with this tolerance of groups who do not have our best interests at heart, only their own. And we're really fed up with those who buy into it - hook, line and sinker.

d.sommer

Be brave. Be very brave.

Jonathan Paign

Yeah Holder (aka the dude who helped pardon Mark *ex patriot and tax cheat" Rich") is reaching out to radical Muslims in L.A. Why should we not be surprised? New proposed "hate crime" legistlation proposed and orchestrated by His Illigitimacy O'Bama will help enemy combatents, Radical Islamists and everyone else that this administration favors. Backwards, ignorant, corrupt and tyranical! All of these terms describe the worst Presidency in our country's history.
Oh in case anyone missed out on the news this week, the House of Cards is rapidly crumbling for our own hater of everything Democratic Barry O'Bama. Health Care and failures of Stimulas Part 1 has been his Waterloo! Good riddance to his power after the 2010 election. Let's pray that Americans never again vote for an unqualified ignorant President again!

StewartIII

L.A.Times Still Calling it the ‘So-Called War on Terror’
http://newsbusters.org/blogs/warner-todd-huston/2009/07/23/l-times-still-calling-it-so-called-war-terror

David

What a truly disgusting thing to do, pandering to our enemies.

xiphos

"So-called war on terror"................l.a. times, a newspaper? that once again hepls define the term LEFT COAST.

"As well as employment opportunities with the Department of Justice".

Employment oportunities for muslims?........either your'e an American or a muslim.

obama, holder and their ilk out of office BEFORE the 2010 elections.

Linda G. Richard

Rut Roh. I see they let the paranoid schizoid Islamophobes out for the day! :-D Y'all run home now... quick like a bunny.

Ron the Realist

So-called journalist Catherine Lyons reporting from the obama headquarters.

sr

first amendment is freedom of religion. We have done some terrible things in the name of christianity, but that doesnt mean all christians are bad people. Muslim people dont want anything to do with hurting people, they just want to live in peace like everyone else. they came here to have a better life. They love this country just as much as everyone else. they should be treated with the same respect as every citizen should.

During wars we always turn against the ethinic people in this country even though they have nothing to do with it. we did it to the aisians during WWII. Leave American muslims alone, dont decriminate them for the actions of people they dont even know. Im a christian but I dont agree with what other christians do. Ghandi said :I like your christ, but I dont like your christians. They are so unlike your christ"

joe

re "so-called war on terror"

Catherine Lyons, so-called American journalist, in reality a shill for jihad, writing in the LA Times, so-called American newspaper. actually a propganda sheet for Osama,Obama,Chavez and Castro.


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